Selena Gomez’s monster flick “Hotel Transylvania” enthralled crowds this weekend, as the film brought the weekend box office back to life after a late-summer slump.
The animated comedy from Sony Pictures debuted at No. 1 with $43 million, one of the strongest starts ever for a movie opening in September, according to studio estimates Sunday.
“Hotel Transylvania” set a new high for September debuts in terms of actual dollars, beating the previous record of $35.7 million for 2002′s “Sweet Home Alabama.” But factoring in today’s higher admission prices, “Sweet Home Alabama” sold more tickets.
This weekend’s box office was further strengthened by a solid No. 2 debut for another Sony release, Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s time-travel thriller “Looper,” which took in $21.2 million.
Hollywood’s overall grosses rose for the first time in a month compared to the same weekend last year. Revenues totaled $120 million, up 21 percent from the same weekend a year ago, when “Dolphin Tale” led with $13.9 million, according to box-office tracker Hollywood.com.